Who We Are
It was 1767, and a spiritual renewal movement—the Great Awakening—was sweeping through the colonies. Back then, Christians would gather in what they called “Great Meetings.” These were lively events. Hundreds of people from all over might spend several days hearing a string of stirring speakers.
Isaac Long hosted a Great Meeting at his big barn in Lancaster, Pa. Martin Boehm, a Mennonite preacher, told his story of becoming a Christian and a minister. It deeply moved William Otterbein, a German Reformed pastor. Otterbein left his seat, embraced Boehm, and said loud enough for everyone to hear, “Wir sind bruder.” (Oh—we spoke German back then.) Otterbein’s words meant, “We are brethren.”
Out of this revival movement came a new denomination which took its name from Otterbein’s words: United Brethren in Christ.
The United Brethren church was the first denomination to actually begin in the United States. Other denominations existed at the time (Lutheran, Reformed, Mennonite, and others), but they were transplants from Europe. The United Brethren Church was truly Made in America.
Want to know even more? Visit the United Brethren website.
Pastor Greg Voight